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Particle Size Distribution Controls the Threshold Between Net Sediment Erosion and Deposition in Suspended Load Dominated Flows

Dorrell, R. M.; Amy, L. A.; Peakall, J.; McCaffrey, W. D.


L. A. Amy

J. Peakall

W. D. McCaffrey


©2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. The central problem of describing most environmental and industrial flows is predicting when material is entrained into, or deposited from, suspension. The threshold between erosional and depositional flow has previously been modeled in terms of the volumetric amount of material transported in suspension. Here a new model of the threshold is proposed, which incorporates (i) volumetric and particle size limits on a flow's ability to transport material in suspension, (ii) particle size distribution effects, and (iii) a new particle entrainment function, where erosion is defined in terms of the power used to lift mass from the bed. While current suspended load transport models commonly use a single characteristic particle size, the model developed herein demonstrates that particle size distribution is a critical control on the threshold between erosional and depositional flow. The new model offers an order of magnitude, or better, improvement in predicting the erosional-depositional threshold and significantly outperforms existing particle-laden flow models.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 15, 2018
Journal Geophysical Research Letters
Print ISSN 0094-8276
Electronic ISSN 1944-8007
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 3
Pages 1443-1452
Keywords General Earth and Planetary Sciences; Geophysics
Publisher URL;jsessionid=FF84807DA36BA0413ADC5FE33ADD0402.f03t01
Copyright Statement ©2018 University of Hull


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